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Reward Increased to $70K for Missing Boy, Gone for Over a Week


The desperate search for Avonte Oquendo continues, as the reward was increased to $70,000 for information leading to his safe return.

On Thursday, the Manhattan Children’s Center, a not-for-profit private autism school, had matched the $5,000 put up Wednesday by the law firm Mayerson & Associates. Then on Friday, Autism Speaks and an anonymous donor upped that reward to $70,000.

As the search entered a week on Friday, there are few clues to his possible whereabouts. Friday evening, the police and volunteers spent the evening searching the subway system.

A red tent has now been set up in front of the Center Boulevard School, where Oquendo disappeared from last Friday, to make the search more of a 24-hour operation. Volunteers, including at least one family member, are staffing it around the clock.

“We’re just out here trying to give out as much information as we can to anyone that wants to help or volunteer or search for Avonte,” brother Daniel Oquendo, Jr., said. “We’re trying to have a family member or relative out here 24 hours a day, just in case he comes back here or anybody else wanders up here and wants to help.”

Police were handing out flyers at checkpoints along the street in the search for the boy, who is autistic, non-verbal and was last seen on surveillance video running out of the school unsupervised. They also consulted psychics and have searched those locations, including a tunnel under Tompkins Square Park, but those searches have come up empty.

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This is a child who cannot speak and the security guard just let him walk out. This speaks about how “wonderful” our security systems are. It is a disgrace. Principal also waited an hour to notify family and police. Amber alerts should be set up for kids who are autistic and disappear.

43rd & 43rd

I don’t understand why the HUGE fuss over this kid when other kids disappear without a fraction of this search effort. It’s sad whenever a child runs away or otherwise goes missing.


I wonder sometimes about the local precincts! I keep thinking that a bunch of smart people working as a team could solve some cases.

froot loops

so, um, the psychics couldnt solve this for you? anyone doing any REAL detective work? or we just gonna rely on looney psychics?

Lew Sifer

Get off your knees and look for the kid! That would be a whole lot better than sending some thoughts into the ether.

Julia F.

I have been praying for this boy and his family ever since my son told me about a missing student in his school the day it happened. It’s every parent’s nightmare.

sunnyside south

What on earth was that idiot security guard thinking, letting him walk out like that?

What a nightmare for the family. Anyone going to church tomorrow, say a prayer for his safe return.


geez what happened this was supposed to be posted under the thug who ate at McD’s on a stolen credit card





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